Go On Girl! Book Club loves spending time with authors whether at our Annual Author Awards weekend, in our homes for book club discussions, as well as going to book signings. At this year’s Author Awards Weekend in Seattle, Washington we had several authors join us from our winning New Author of the Year Edward Kelsey Moore, Pamela Samuels Young, Jacinda Townsend, and Elizabeth Stephens. We present a four-part series on what the authors had to say about being in Seattle and with GOGs. Here’s Part 1 from Edward Kelsey Moore check back shortly for our posts from Pamela Samuels Young, Jacinda Townsend, and Elizabeth Stephens.
Edward Kelsey Moore
When I first encountered Go On Girl! book club members at the 2013 meeting in Atlantic City, I suspected that I was in for an experience different from what I’d had at most of the events of my book tour for The Supremes At Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat. I was right about that, and that difference has turned into a truly rewarding relationship. In Atlantic City, I had conversation after conversation with smart, charming women who really understood literature, and when I was invited to the 2015 meeting in Seattle to receive the New Author of the Year Award, it was an extra special honor for me because I knew that GOGs were not the type of readers who would hide their feelings. Go On Girl! members are willing to express their opinions about books passionately and directly—sometimes REALLY directly.
Black authors face the same uncertainties and difficulties as other writers, but we also often find ourselves responding to audiences who have some very basic misunderstandings about who black people are. The women of GOG have no such misconceptions and aren’t interested in reading the same stereotypes that we’ve seen so many times. GOGs know that there are countless facets to African-American life, and they won’t let authors get away with one-note portrayals when a symphony is called for. Nothing is more refreshing for a black author than an audience that understands his or her book. GOGs let me know right away that they got my book. and they got me. GOG members helped to get The Supremes At Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat on the New York Times Bestseller list and then helped to keep the book selling by positive word-of-mouth. I can’t overstate the amount of support I’ve received from GOG members and my gratitude for that support.
If you talk to any authors who enjoys meeting readers, they’ll tell you that people who love books tend to be kind, smart people. My experiences on book tours have backed that up. But Go On Girl! members stand out partly because they are just so much fun. In Atlantic City and again in Seattle, I had a great time. Every day was fun. When I got on the plane back to Chicago after each of my GOG experiences, my face hurt from grinning. You just don’t sit at a table with Martha Kimbrough or Tracy Grady without laughing. Believe me, this is not what authors expect from these types of events. But that’s one of the things I love about GOGs. The GOG! members aren’t readers who see books as lifeless objects to be studied. GOGs truly enjoy books and know them intimately. Whether a book is funny or serious or spiritual, GOGs take genuine delight in stepping into the dream world of literature. To me, that’s what books are for, and GOGs are the kind of readers I can relate to.
As I write this, my publishing house is getting its first look at my new novel. Like all writers, I tried to think only of my characters and to keep all other voices out of my head as I worked on my new book. But I made a slight exception. I couldn’t help but occasionally think of some of my GOG! friends as I wrote. My time with GOG made me want to write a better book and to create a richer experience for my readers. Also, I knew some members would definitely let me hear about it if they felt as if I was slacking off. Every writer wants readers who know good books when they read them and expects a lot from authors.
I’m so glad that the GO On Girl! Book Club found my novel, and I hope that in the future, I’ll be able to meet with my GOG friends again to laugh and talk about books.
Submitted by: Edward Kelsey Moore